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When & how to replace pond liner

Hi all
My partner and I have recently moved to a house and are fortunate enough to have a fairly well established pond with frogs, newts and lots of aquatic beasties- it's teaming with life.
However, the flexible liner that was put in when the pond was created is in pretty poor condition and we're convinced the pond is leaking slightly so we want to replace it with a good quality liner that will last. We also want to improve the construction of the pond and create a bog planting area.
We know we will need to take everything out of the pond to replace the liner and we're very concerned about hurting the wildlife.
My questions are:
- What would be the best time of year to tackle the job?
- Has anyone got any tips for exactly how to go about it?
Any help or suggestions would be great!


  • Empty out the pond and get anything you can put wildlife in and keep as much as you can of the old water out of the pond so when new pond is done you have a good start with natural water, then take out your old liner and then refill with tap water only as much as you need then leave it for a week then reinstall your wild life and the water you saved . 
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149
    Hi hannah,
    The best time to do this is when the wildlife isn't breeding, so during the colder, wetter months when working in the garden isn't exactly a barrel of laughs. You have to get their home up and running by (very) early spring.
    I had to do this a few years back when our pond leaked and plumped for October. There's no magic's like cleaning the loo. Just dive in and get on with it. Remove everything carefully and keep any plants you want to replace. Keep some of the water in a bucket as it will contain a host of minute creatures essential for the wellbeing of the pond's ecosystem and keep some pond snails too. The frogs and newts will happily relocate to a damp area while you remodel and reline the pond. The quicker you can do the job, the sooner the creatures will be able to return to their home.
    You will need to get a liner, and an underliner to prevent stones damaging the liner.
    Good luck.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,135
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    I agree with Ceres, but don't do it during freezing weather. The frogs etc will be hibernating somewhere else so you won't have to worry about them. Dormant plants will cope as long as they don't freeze. If you pile up the debris and muck carefully, bugs and smaller beasties will crawl out to hide and you may want to rescue what you can in the saved water. It's not a bit like cleaning the loo, it's great fun, but get the kettle on for frequent warming up breaks.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,937
    Hi @hannah 622 - I use the same liner that @Lyn mentions. If you're making some new areas, factor all that in carefully with your measurements, and add a bit extra just to be sure  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 766
    We used a cheap paddling pool as a temporary home for plants/wildlife. We simply filled it with water from the pond plus the plants we wanted to keep and as much wildlife as we could sieve out ( as we removed  the remaining water, silt etc once the paddling pool was full). It all then went back in to start off the relined pool.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Thank you all so much- there are some great ideas here (thanks for the pond liner recommendations too)  and I feel very reassured that we wont be permanently damaging the life in our pond.
    A cold & wet job it is then for us!!
  • TerrakionTerrakion AdelaidePosts: 5
    I won't repeat all that the users above mentioned. I just want to add some resources which can help to choose the right pond liner:
    The past is never dead © Rusty Lake
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    edited January 2020
    we had a large paddling pool with goldfish and plants in it in our garage for two months when we moved house, until we could get a new pond dug. it was very cold when we moved and the clay had frozen like permafrost!
    fill as many barrels/water butts with water as possible, add that back first, then top up with tap water, you want to add as little tap water as possible and that orders the best way to do that.
    also keep a bucket of the 'sludge' from at the bottom of the old pond and put it in the new pond, it'll have all the beasties that the pond needs to get it started
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